I’m Related To A Famous Classics Writer?!?!

October 15th 2017- I’ve been debating for a while now about whether or not to write and post this up on my classics blog, not really sure what other people’s reactions are going to be like but you know what, I live by the motto YOLO (You Only Live Once) so here is the post that the title pretty much grabs your attention.

But yeah, the title itself is true, very very true. I am a relation to a Scottish classics writer who went on to influence one of the biggest names in literature. I am talking about the Scottish writer Tobias Smollett.

I am descended from one of Tobias Smollett’s siblings so that makes me a great niece but I don’t know how many greats, probably over 30 XD 

Anyway, some facts about Tobias that I think you guys should know. He was born in 1721 in Scotland and was a surgeon in the Navy. He married a Jamaican heiress called Anne and together had a daughter Elizabeth who sadly died aged 15. His books include: The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, Travels Through France and Italy and what I personally believe to be his best-known work: The Expedition of Humphry Clinker which was published the year he died (1771) He was 50 at time of death and is buried in Italy.

I was nine years old when I first found this out but only very recently have I actually wanted to know more about my ancestor. He did go to prison (naughty boy) and is also mentioned in a number of other classic novels of the 18th and 19th centuries including George Eliot’s Middlemarch, W.M Thackeray’s Vanity Fair and Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield. 

Tobias wrote mainly satire which I have to confess is something I’ve never thought about trying to write but maybe sometime in the future? Who knows.

Charles Dickens in particular really loved Tobias’s books and said his writing really influenced his own books, most notably David Copperfield. 

A spooky thing I found out yesterday while I was talking to my boyfriend about Tobias was that his Humphry Clinker book is written in the form of letters and most of my stories I have started writing have been in letter form. Up until yesterday, I never knew that was how Tobias wrote, the similarities regarding the letters are there :O 

I’ve added going to see his resting place in Italy to my bucket list, I’m not sure Tobias would like my writing to be perfectly honest but I do think he would be encouraged to hear someone related to him also writing poetry and stories.

That’s all for this storytime post, most of Tobias’s books are available to purchase for free on Amazon Kindle. Have you read any books by him? I’d love to know!

Thanks so much for reading, to round off this blog post, I’ll leave a picture of his portrait so you can see what he looked like.

Alice.

 

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September Classics Reading Wrap-Up

Hello readers! I know that September finished a while back (now it’s 5th October) but I’m just about to finish my 5th week back at College for the first time in 11 months and to sum up how my experiences are going with that so far, errrr, potential 50,000 word novel? XD

In the month of September, I managed to read 3 classic books which I gave them all roughly 3 stars and felt the same about all of them; they were OK, not outstanding reads but bearable.

To kick off things, I started with The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway and after my Mum read my review on the book, she tried to sit me down and have a chat about what the book was really about it. To be honest, since it wasn’t really my cup of tea, I can’t even remember what happens or who the characters are. By the way, thanks for the support on my review post for it, one of my most liked blog posts to date.

Then I moved on to the other 2 books in the stack: Peter Pan and Liza of Lambeth, having different experiences with each of them. Reviews for both of these books are posted on my Goodreads and hopefully will be up on my blog soon, I need to take photos of the relevant editions I have in case you are interested in seeing them and want to purchase them for yourselves. Both books were quick reads but again, my overall opinions are very mixed, Peter Pan wasn’t quite the book I was hoping for and the ending to Liza of Lambeth was quite unexpected for me as a reader.

I am pleased though that I was able to manage reading more than one classic and trying to balance out coursework and other personal matters such as spending time with my boyfriend.

Let me know if you read any classics in September, how was your reading experiences?

See you all soon with a new post!

Alice. 

Reaching 100 Subscribers+A Massive Thank You!

Hello everyone!

It’s Alice here from Alice Reads Classics and today, something awesomely exciting crazy (coughs, lost for words) happened. I reached 100 subscribers on this blog! 

Personally, it was something that was holding me back from creating Alice Reads Classics in the first place and that was talking about Classic Books and being worried that it was going to be too old-fashioned or something people didn’t read anymore but I’ve been left feeling pleasantly surprised, if not blown away by the reaction that this blog has received in a short amount of time.

I only created this in July, just after my 19th birthday and with lots of posts in the pipeline and a lot of reading to do (Yay!) the bookish future looks incredibly bright. 🙂

So, a big thank you once again to everyone who has ever stopped by my blog and read my posts or hit the subscribe button, I really appreciate it and I love you all very much. ❤

Please do keep spreading the word about Alice Reads Classics to your family, your friends, your book groups, authors, other bloggers etc. Just imagine how one simple thing can make a huge difference.

Together, let’s keep promoting and discussing Classics, keep everyone informed and interested.

Love Alice,

Creator of Alice Reads Classics.

Listening To Classics on LibriVox!

Hello readers!

So, what do you do when you really just have to read something? Like anything? A classic book? So many questions, so little time…

If you have a computer or mobile phone handy, you can access a website called LibriVox which is a volunteer-run website where you can sign up to volunteer and read chapters from classic books or a couple of poems from a poetry collection. The books must be published before 1924 in order to qualify for recording. There is so much choice on there from genres to authors to screenplays to different versions of well-loved classics like Little Women by Louisa May Alcott for example. I very recently signed-up to join but am currently waiting for a recording set and something to record on before I look for parts. One of my life ambitions is to get into radio and audiobook narration or acting along those lines. I was inspired to do this by my Great-Aunt (now sadly deceased) who was blind but loved it whenever I read things out-loud to her.

Today, I will be sharing with you the classics that I am currently listening to on LibriVox and my general thoughts so far. This is in US Public Domain so before you download anything and listen, please check Copyright laws in your own country before proceeding. Just a quick heads-up 🙂

Audiobook #1- The Mystery At Dark Cedars by Edith Lavell and recorded by Cari Shorrock

Link- https://librivox.org/the-mystery-at-dark-cedars-by-edith-lavell/

Length- 4 hours, 14 minutes long

This first book in a series follows two girls, best friends Mary Louise and Jane who like to solve mysteries. Both of them embark on a thrilling adventure after some dark twisty secrets emerge from a Hall close to where they live and threaten the world of one young girl. Cari’s voice is clear, easy to follow and understand with the suspense and mystery elements of the plot making my listening experience very enjoyable. I could be wrong but Cari is planning to keep recording the series so stay tuned for updates!

Audiobook #2- Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon and recorded by Elizabeth Klett

Link- https://librivox.org/lady-audleys-secret-by-mary-elizabeth-braddon/

Length- 14 hours, 16 minutes long

This standalone novel from the 1860s follows Lucy Graham who becomes Lady Audley and tries to hide away a dark secret from her family and husband that she has just married. I have a physical copy of the book that I will read at some point but for now, listening to Elizabeth’s narration which is spoken with a clear tone and easy to relax to. According to the LibriVox description, this novel contains attempted murder and seduction. How interesting…

Finally,

Audiobook #3- How To Write A Novel by Anonymous and recorded by Brett W. Downey

Link- https://librivox.org/how-to-write-a-novel-by-anonymous/

Length- 2 hours, 40 minutes long

This book is simply a mystery to me but it follows a guide about how to write a novel. Obviously this was written over 100 years ago so some of the facts shared are most likely going to be dated but for length and just general interest in creative writing, the chapters break up into How to Begin and How Authors Work for example.

I have the LibriVox app on my mobile phone which I use to listen to audiobooks on the go and it does come with an option to speed up or slow down the narration as well as skipping to the next part or going back to a previous one. There is honestly something for everyone to enjoy and new projects are being completed all the time.

Thanks so much for reading, I will let you guys know my full thoughts on my audiobook LibriVox experiences. Stay tuned for some new posts to come soon!

Alice.

Classic Book Editions I Crave!

Readers, prepare for pictures of pretty books to head your way…

Hello all, it’s Alice from Alice Reads Classics and today’s post is about the editions of classic books that I pretty much have my eyes on and would love to add to my growing book collection! Please note that I don’t own the images that will be used in this post but original sources will be credited! After that quick disclaimer, let’s actually look at the books shall we? 😀

1, Beauty and the Beast

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Taken from: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beauty-Beast-Gabrielle-Suzanna-Barbot-Villenueve/dp/0062456210
According to the Amazon description, this comes with a fold-out map and due to my love of Geography, I love maps and if it is bookish related, I love them even more! I have physically held a copy of this edition before and even though it was heavy, I knew the front cover design really caught my eye. I haven’t seen the new live-action Beauty and the Beast film but I do want to see it at some point.

2, The Story of King Arthur and His Knights

61SqtB7XHIL__SX362_BO1,204,203,200_

This image clip is from the book’s about me page on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Arthur-Knights-Leatherbound-Childrens-Classics/dp/1435162110/ref=pd_sim_14_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=CERTQEDZ6VSDYSK861H0 I used to have a VERY NAFF EDITION of Arthurian Legends but donated it years ago because it just didn’t look very pretty on my shelves. This edition however is purple and gold and can attempt to blend into my bedroom walls which are painted purple.

3, Anne of Green Gables

anne-of-green-gables-cover-02
Taken from: https://riflepaperco.com/anne-of-green-gables-montgomery/
Blue is my all-time favourite colour and love how the colours come together nicely. It’s a gorgeous design but sadly this is only available in the US and I live in the UK *sobs* but Anne of Green Gables is one of my favourite children’s classics which I do have a physical copy of but it isn’t as nice as this one.

4, The Secret Garden

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Taken from: https://wordery.com/the-secret-garden-frances-hodgson-burnett-
I had a mass market paperback of The Secret Garden and my childhood was spent constantly reading and re-reading it and watching the film on repeat much to the annoyance of my family who kept witnessing the same scenes over and over again! I no longer have any editions of it but I love seeing pictures of keys on book covers so this one caught my eye.

5, The Green Fairy Book

green fairy book
Taken from: Bing Image search
I started to look for Folio Society editions during my birthday holiday in Hay-On-Wye and one of the ones I spotted and literally couldn’t take my eyes off was this one. I haven’t heard of the fairy books before and Green isn’t even my favourite colour but I hope to read this one day since I did enjoy reading and writing fairy stories in my childhood.

Thanks so much for reading, let me know if you have any of these editions that I’ve mentioned in this post. Have a great day, see you all soon!

Alice.

 

 

Favourite Videos That Talk About Classics!

Hello readers!

I am just one subscriber away from reaching one hundred here, oh my gosh. I started back at College last week and have been extremely busy with work and also, I fell unwell again with a heavy cold which sadly prevented me from attending one day of lessons last week because I felt terrible. Today’s post is going to be sharing just some simple YouTube videos with you that I have watched and talk about classic books. I don’t know about you but YouTube is my bookie addiction as well as fun to subscribe to channels and watch fun content. I will be including all of the links as well as titles for the videos and just a quick statement about what each video is actually about. Excited? Keep reading!

Video Number 1: How To Read Classics: Tips and Tricks by Lucy from LucyTheReader

This video length is just under 5 minutes long so if you have a busy day planned and want to find out more about how to approach classics quickly, this is the video to watch. Lucy has lots of other videos on her channel talking about reading and reviewing classics including a video on Easy Classics for Beginners and the Penguin English Library Bookshelf tour. Highly recommend watching, go subscribe!

Video Number 2: Recommended Reads: Children’s Classics by Hailey from Hailey in Bookland

If you fancy watching a video and swooning over how beautiful most of these editions of children’s classic book are then Hailey’s video is a must-see. She is currently collecting all of the editions of Alice Adventure’s in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll which fun fact, book I was named after! Also does have other classics videos posted but this one is my favourite because colourful covers.

Video Number 3: Classics Wrap-Up 2016 by April from Aprilius Maximus

I love April’s channel and I can highly recommend this video. I love when bloggers/booktubers do wrap-ups for the year and having one dedicated just to classics was a breath of fresh air to watch. In this video, April discusses the classics she read in 2016 starting with the ones she DNF’d (Did Not Finish) to the ones she gave 5 stars to. Plus that edition of Jane Eyre in the thumbnail is just gorgeous OK 😉

Video Number 4: Book Recommendations: Classics by Jacob from Jacob Wilkins

This quick video really gets to the point. Jacob recommends his favourite classic books and talks about the storyline as well as showing editions of them which you guys can see a pattern here right? I don’t just watch book videos for the covers I swear 😛 but anyway, if you are looking to add books to your Classics TBR while out and about, then watch this!

And finally,

Video Number 5: Alana Recommends|Classics! by Alana from King Books

I found Alana’s channel over the summer break and I love that she works in a bookstore (I mean, who doesn’t love working and reading with books all day long?) but this video talks about classics that she read and enjoyed, some during High School. There are Fantasy recommendations, Mystery recommendations etc. So, if you like variety, then you’ll like this video!

That’s all for this post, I really hope that you enjoyed reading it. It’s definitely something new that I would like to start on my blogging adventures and recommending videos seemed like a great way to start! Let me know in the comments section below if you have made classics videos for YouTube or know any others that I should watch. Don’t forget to subscribe to all of these channels and show the love!

Have a great week, see you all soon!

Alice.

Book Review: The Old Man and The Sea

Welcome to my first book review to be posted on my Alice Reads Classics blog! Honestly, I’m super excited to start this new chapter in my blogging journey by sharing my thoughts and opinions on classic books with you all. As I’m typing this, it is currently the last day of the summer holidays for me as I return to College tomorrow for the first time in eleven months. Scary but exciting times!

If you like my review, it would be amazing if you could click on the Goodreads link and “Like” it, doing this enables your Goodreads friends/followers to see my review come up on their news feed and promote my love of books with others. This also opens up more doors with publishers for reading and reviewing books because of the number of users that see my book reviews. Here’s the link: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2113284220

Below is the quote that was in my edition of The Old Man and The Sea to describe what the story is about:

My thoughts!:

The Old Man and The Sea was so short but yet so bizarre and complex at the same time, managing to read this in one setting with minimal distraction on the last day of summer break was definitely some form of accomplishment. This short story of just under 100 pages long follows an old man who lives in the country of Cuba and his adventures with going out into the ocean and fishing in the Gulf Stream. There are two characters that play a leading role: The old man himself and a boy that is referred to as, “The Boy”. We as the reader, aren’t told very much about him regarding a name or in detail his background.

Two things for me proved to be annoying. The first was the repetition of the Old Man out at sea catching the fish, the descriptions were long and honestly weren’t really needed. I felt there should have been more the Old Man did out at sea then just try to catch fish and kill a shark. He also kept repeating out loud that he wished, “The Boy was here” seeing the same line repeated over and over felt super frustrating. The other thing which annoyed me is how much telling there was regarding the surroundings than showing. The descriptions were long, chunky and was not split up into parts. Rather just one long short story.

Overall, this was a story that I couldn’t fully connect with and so was left disappointed with the outcome of the story.

Star Rating: 3/5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Have you read an Ernest Hemingway book? What did you think of Ernest’s writing style? Let me know in the comments section below!

As always, thanks so much for reading and supporting. See you all soon with a new post!

Alice.

Classics I Want To Read In September 2017!

Just realised that the title for this blog post rhymes what XD

Hello readers! It’s Alice here from Married To Books and Alice Reads Classics. I honestly can’t believe that Summer is officially over here in the UK and the Autumn is ready to set in. This year has gone by incredibly fast and that’s eerily chilly to witness. I read sadly 0 of the classic books on my August TBR, so those books will be rolled over into September’s instead.

I start back at College on Tuesday 5th so my time management is going to be put into some pressure to keep up with reading and coursework. Hopefully it all works out. I have added two books to the mix purely due to the length of them. They are the following:

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.

And,

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger.

As always, my plan is to post full spoiler-free reviews for all of the books that I end up reading here and also on my Goodreads which you can add me at: http://www.Goodreads.com/Marriedtobooks44 and delighted to announce that I am getting ever closer to 3,000 followers on there! Ahhhh 😀

Sadly, I have gone down with flu symptoms and am loosing my voice. Not the best time for it to happen. But let me know what classic books are on your reading list for September. As always, keep checking back here, on my Goodreads and also on my Twitter which I am getting close to 700 followers on! It’s http://www.Twitter.com/MarriedToBooks3

Thanks so much for reading and supporting, have a great day/night and see you all soon with some new posts!

Alice. 

Discussion: Studying English!

Hello all! It’s Alice over at Married To Books and Alice Reads Classics! Today’s post is going to be another discussion one and I really need to finish replying to all of the comments from the last discussion post, whoops XD

The topic for today’s discussion is studying English. I don’t mean simply casually reading a book and say OK I accomplished something, I mean actually getting to know the characters, the surroundings, the plotline etc. Sounds like a boring job right? Well… That’s for you to submit your thoughts!

As someone who was only predicted to get one English GCSE (Language) and ending up with two GCSEs (B in Language, C in Literature), that sparked off a real desire in me. There is a reason why I got those grades, it was due to the fact I had an open mind when reading a poem from an anthology or a chapter from Of Mice and Men.

I’m someone who likes to go into every book with an open mind. And not let constant distracting thoughts get in the way of understanding the story. In a previous post, I discussed how I read and studied classic books and that was a very popular post. 

Here are the things that I will be using to study English again at College:

– Always start reading a poem/chapter/essay with an open mind.

– Take time to understand just exactly what message is being portrayed to the reader.

– Look for a “Stand-Out” sentence and quote that for reference.

– Paint a visual image in my mind of the characters speaking in the text to try and form some connection to them.

– Talk to other students and share thoughts: Honestly, whenever I talk about books and blogging, I don’t shut up! 😛

If you are studying English at school, college, university or teach English, I would love to hear your story about your journey with studying it. Regarding to classics in particular, did you struggle to connect with reading them or were they simply your new favourite thing?

Let’s get chatting!

Don’t forget to follow me on my Book Twitter http://www.Twitter.com/MarriedToBooks3

Also! My new boyfriend has joined Book Twitter too and I would love you guys to go and support him in this new journey just as you all did for me- http://www.Twitter.com/FarmerReviews

Thanks so much for reading, new post soon!

Alice. 

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